Nebraska added a significant piece to its secondary on Friday.
According to Rivals’ Husker Online, Central Florida safety Tre Neal will be a member of Nebraska’s defense in 2018. As a graduate transfer, Neal, a redshirt junior in 2017, will be immediately eligible to play for the Huskers.
A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to HuskerOnline Neal has been granted his release from UCF, and Nebraska is not restricted as one of his options.
Neal is set to graduate from UCF at the end of this month, and from there he will be admitted into graduate school at NU and be immediately eligible for the 2018 season.
Neal won’t have much of a football adjustment as he heads from Orlando to Lincoln. Former UCF coach Scott Frost is entering his first season as Nebraska’s head coach after leading UCF to an undefeated season in 2017. He brought defensive coordinator Erik Chinander along with him, meaning Neal will be playing in the same defensive system that he did a year ago.
Neal was UCF’s fourth-leading tackler in 2017 with 68 tackles and was the team’s third-leading interceptor with three picks. One of those interceptions came in overtime of the AAC Championship Game as UCF sealed an undefeated regular season.
No Nebraska player had more than two interceptions in 2017.
Neal figures to get a lot of playing time in 2018 and could slide into Nebraska’s open starting spot at free safety as starting cornerbacks Lamar Jackson, DiCaprio Bootle and starting safety Aaron Williams all return. He’s also the second UCF player to follow Frost to Lincoln. QB Noah Vedral, a Nebraska native, transferred to the Huskers in January.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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